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"I was smitten with grief at what I had done."
Dr. Joseph Linsk (JL)
JL: When I was 8 years old, I was running in the schoolyard and my arm struck the eyeglasses of one of the students. And he began to cry. He was going to tell his father. It would cost two dollars to fix the glasses. And I was frightened to death — where was I going to get the two dollars?
We had a cleaning lady by the name of Pearl, a black woman. And I knew that every week, she’d get two dollars for her services. On this particular day, I was so terrified, I took the two dollars, and took it to the teacher and settled the problem of the broken glasses.
When Pearl finished her day’s work, she went for the two dollars and they weren’t there. And my mother said there was no question that Pearl took the two dollars and didn’t admit it. And my mother was so angry, that she told Pearl not to come back anymore.
And then the word leaked out that Pearl was a thief, and Pearl couldn’t get another job. And she had several children.
I was the only one who knew the true story. And I didn’t tell anyone. And I was smitten with grief at what I had done. I kept that secret to the age of 94, which is hard to believe, but the event never left me.
Navy veteran Frank Curre shares his firsthand account of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Presented with Upworthy, he is, #WhoWeAre.
Fred Davie and Robert Sanchez
A social worker who now helps others who are making the transition from prison talks with his mentor about their first meeting inside Sing Sing prison.
StoryCorps is America’s oral history project. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 60,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants from all backgrounds -- the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress so that future generations can hear the stories – and the voices – of today.
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